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Geona's Vampires

Russian animated short film (1991; original title Vampiry Geony). Soyuztelefilm. Directed and written by Gennady Tischenko. Voice cast includes Vsevolod Abdulov, Aleksandr Lushchik and Rogvold Sukhoverko. 9 minutes. Colour. This was the first instalment of a two-part serial concerning the planet Geona, the second episode being Masters of Geona (1992; original title Khozyaeva Geony). 10 minutes. Colour.

On a Space Station the Cosmosecological Commission, whose members are humans and Aliens, brief Inspector Yanin on his new mission. A company intends to establish a colony on the planet Geona (see Colonization of Other Worlds), which has a breathable atmosphere and is rich in valuable minerals. However, there is a problem with Vampires: though they do not drink much blood, microorganisms enter the wound when they bite and, if not given the antidote, the victims mutate (see Mutants) and fall into a coma. The Starship crew currently on the planet wants to wipe out the creatures: Yanin is to investigate and decide on the right course of action. On arrival he is immediately bitten by one of the vampires, which resemble smallish pterodactyls: he begins to transform, but the antidote quickly cures him. The starship's commander – who looks like Arnold Schwarzenegger – explains their plan to lure the vampires with ultrasonic sound, then kill them; Yanin wonders about the effect on the planet's Ecology, but is told it will re-balance within six months. He watches the beginning of the massacre, but on observing the creatures' behaviour he orders the leader of the shooters – who looks like Sylvester Stallone – to stop. Geona's Vampires then ends.

The story continues with Masters of Geona: Yanin had noticed that after the initial influx of vampires the number of new arrivals quickly dwindled, as if they were communicating the danger. He departs the company starship to see if the vampires a long distance away will now flee from the sound; unfortunately his ship is stomped on by a Dinosaur, stopping the broadcast, so he is bitten many times by the vampires – but this time he quickly recovers. Yanin meets small, Intelligent humanoid reptiles who, by Telepathic imagery, inform him they have Cities Under the Sea and are symbiotically joined with the planet's other animals (see Parasitism and Symbiosis), whom they treat as pets. The vampires had bitten the humans to set up the telepathic link: but many bites are needed, otherwise it is an extremely slow process – thus the comas. Due to the damage caused to their ecology the humanoids insist no further starships may visit the planet: the company crew acquiesce and depart.

Clearly made with a small budget, the animation is often limited, though with attempts to give a 3D effect: however there are set pieces where the quality increases markedly – usually involving the flora and fauna, but sometimes the Technology, as well as an effort to show a variety of aliens on the Cosmosecological Commission. There is little characterization – Yanin's distinguishing trait is his clumsiness – and the story is the familiar one of humans in conflict with an ecology they do not understand, but is reasonably interesting. The best moments are the scenes showing the planet's natural history, which are inventive. Inspector Yanin's adventures continue in AMBA (1994-1995). [SP]

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Entry from The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction (2011-current) edited by John Clute and David Langford.
Accessed 14:29 pm on 24 June 2024.
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